Vikings hope Adrian Peterson will be able to practice Friday

Dec 8, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) runs onto the field during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Evan Habeeb/Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Adrian Peterson is out of a walking
boot, but Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier doesn’t believe Peterson will
return to practice until Friday with a sprained right foot.

A series of tests have ruled out anything serious with
Peterson’s foot, which was landed on by Baltimore linebacker Arthur Brown on
Sunday as he tried to make a tackle. Peterson is able to walk on the injured
foot, but won’t test the injury until later in the week.

“He can carry weight,” Frazier said. “We just
haven’t had him doing it in jogging or running. We’re going to have him the
pool today and we’ll do the same tomorrow and then Friday let him get out and
test it out and see how he feels. So we’ll take it slowly these first couple of
days and then ramp it up a little bit on Friday.”

Peterson, second in the league in rushing with 1,221 yards,
has also been playing through a groin injury, but the team is giving no thought
to shutting down the reigning MVP after being officially eliminated from the
playoffs.

“In talking to our trainers and doctors, they haven’t
talked to me about further injury,” Frazier said. “It’s more about
pain tolerance and can he do some of the things he needs to do to be able to
protect himself at the running back position that’s probably the bigger
question.”

Minnesota is also dealing with an injury to Peterson’s
backup, Toby Gerhart. Gerhart is dealing with a hamstring injury suffered on a
41-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s loss at Baltimore and
likely won’t return to practice until Friday as well.

Gerhart has filled in ably for Peterson at times this season
and in the past. He’s averaging 7.9 yards per carry this season. Last week in
snowy conditions, Peterson had seven carries for 13 yards before leaving in the
second quarter with the injury. Gerhart had 15 carries for 89 yards.

“I’m a little more optimistic with Toby than I am with
Adrian, but we’ll see,” Frazier said. “(Peterson is) a fast healer as
we all know. He can do things that most can’t when it comes to coming back from
injury. He believes he’s going to be ready to go.

“We were walking up the stairs a few minutes ago and I
said, ‘Hey what do you think.’ He said, ‘I’ll be ready coach. Don’t worry about
me.’ That’s Adrian. So we’ll see. But we’ll give it a few days and see where we
are at the end of the week.”

Frazier classified right guard Brandon Fusco (knee) and
rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes (ankle sprain) as day-to-day heading into the
week. Both were injured and unable to finish Sunday’s game.

“Pretty sore today, so we’ll see if he’s doing better
tomorrow,” Frazier said of Rhodes.

Tight end John Carlson hasn’t passed concussion testing yet
and the team placed tight end Kyle Rudolph on season-ending injured reserve
earlier this week.

Carlson, who has 32 catches for 344 yards and has come on
since Rudolph broke his foot Nov. 3, also has a history of concussions.

“It depends on what the doctors tell me,” Frazier
said. “They haven’t mentioned to me that if he passes we have to be
cautious, so if they clear him and they tell me he’s cleared to play, then we’d
play him. But if they told me because of his history we’d need to be careful,
then that’s a different story.”

Frazier said safety Harrison Smith is still in line to
likely be activated from injured reserve on Friday and ready to play in
Sunday’s home game against Philadelphia.

“He’s going to be up and practicing so we’ll see how he
does throughout this week,” Frazier said. “He did a good job in these
two weeks in preparation for this week. So if everything goes well, we’ll get
him some action in the ballgame on Sunday.”

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